A Vancouver time travelogue brought to you by Past Tense.
Back in 1918-1919, Canadian and other allied forces were getting a head start on the Cold War by battling the Reds in Siberia. They withdrew in 1919 and brought back this enormous bear as a souvenir for the Stanley Park zoo. Naturally it was named Trotsky, and for 20 years the good-natured beast charmed park visitors as the zoo’s most popular attraction. At 520+ pounds, the great Russian bear was thought to be the largest in captivity. As a sign of his popularity, Trotsky’s death in 1939 made the New York Times.
Source: City of Vancouver Archives #371-2843.1